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Gallstones are Galling


For about six months, I've had recurring minor pain behind my right ribs. As it happens, I have other pains too (I'm getting older, after all) but these were nagging enough that I went to my doc, got various (inconclusive) tests done, and got hooked up with a surgeon, Just In Case.

Well - Sunday night, I had what is most likely a gallstone attack.

Now, I find the whole phrasing of that kind of hilarious. I picture a tiny stone with a little sword and a shield, facing down the menacing tunnel with a determined sneer, all "Spartaaaaaa".

But I can tell you, that little bastard *hurts*. Like this is quite likely a heart attack hurts. Like, holy hell, what the FUCK, ok, you can stop now son of a BITCH hurts. Paramedic Mr.Inf did an assessment and off to the hospital we went, Mini!Inf in tow, and ... well. I wish we had gone the second night cause the first night I got a doc who was in 'ship 'em out' mode. He sent me home with "Avoid meat" and Percocet, and forgot to order my followup tests.

Mr.Inf convinced one of the daytime docs to bring me back in (likely worried about that missing order) and got the tests done, and the evening doc who I saw was wonderful. He paid attention, took me seriously, did a set of cardiac tests to be sure that it wasn't my heart, and then... *gasp* followed up with me from home to make sure I was ok and that I got all my results.

So - looks like surgery coming for me. Which sucks, cause I kind of hate the concept. But I hate the idea of being bowed backwards on the floor, trying not to cry in pain, more.

Wish me luck!

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
debris_k
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Ouch, that sounds very painful indeed! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you. *hugs*

While my own gallsack continues to be completely stone and other visible-problem-less it's been giving me problems on and off for a while. Currently, as it's fresh fruit season, it's in off more, but this winter I was in pain for months on end and the docs eventually said it's all "nerve based" and didn't give me jack squat.

Still, if you look through my winter journal posts about it you'll find links to at one site with good recipes and explanations on what you can and can't eat when your gall-whatsit is giving you hell.

The surefire way to ease your pain is flax seed tea, though -- boil for I think 10 minutes? one or two heaping tablespoons of flax seed in ~2 cups of water. (It need not be exact, just moderately gooey when done and cooled some; you'll see what I mean when you try to strain it.) Strain while hot (harder to do when cold, since flax seeds let out this jello-like substance of raw egg-white consistency which gets thicker as it cools), and then sip/drink slowly, either hot, warm or cold, doesn't matter, as needed. The effects should kick in in about 10-15 minutes, as that jello-like thingy from the flax seed makes the gallbladder take a break from working.

Not sure this works as well with gallstones, as the stones alone might very well cause considerable amounts of pain, but it wouldn't hurt to try, I think.
skinscript
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
I read that flax seed tea was good! I'll see if I can find any today - there aren't a lot of bulk food stores around but maybe I'll get lucky. Or! I might have some already from breadmaking!

With a gallstone what tends to happen is the achy/soreness is the stone bouncing around inside, and the debilitating attack is the stone getting stuck in the bile duct. If it gets lodged inside the duct, then you're talking inflammation and infection and all that. In my case, it seems to be playing with the lip of the duct like a pea and a straw. As long as the gallbladder is manufacturing enzymes and trying to throw them down the duct and can't, it's incredibly painful. The same thing can happen with polyps, too - they can flop over the duct tract and block it. :(

*hugs*
skinscript
Jun. 4th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
Dunno how well it worked (I also took a perc cause I was getting worse fast), but the flax tea doesn't taste bad.

The texture, on the other hand, is pretty horrible. *laughs*

Thanks again for the 'recipe'!
debris_k
Jun. 4th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
It can't hurt, at least. And yeah, the texture is... interesting. I drank it all day every day for a couple of weeks when my gallbladder was aching up a storm, I think my sanity depended on it for a while there. *was not in a good state of mind after a month of constant gall-ache and no help from the doctors*

I hope it helps a little, if nothing else. *hugs*
lavvyan
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
Luck! Although you already seem to have it, what with your second doctor being such a good one.

Now, I find the whole phrasing of that kind of hilarious. I picture a tiny stone with a little sword and a shield, facing down the menacing tunnel with a determined sneer, all "Spartaaaaaa".

All right, that made me laugh, but now I have to ask: where are the Persians in that scenario?
skinscript
Jun. 1st, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)
I totally want to draw it now.

where are the Persians in that scenario?
At the other end of the tunnel! My own personal 'Burning Gates'. *sigh*
fluffyllama
Jun. 3rd, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
Ohhh, not fun, been there. Well, ridiculously infected gall bladder in my case, but I hear whatever is wrong with it hurting like hell is the usual scenario. There was a woman have hers removed at the same time as me whose gallbladder was popping out stones all over the place actually, that was a fun visual like your battle... just more like artillery!

I hope they fix it soon at least and spare you another attack.
skinscript
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
Yeah - one of the docs kept saying "It's only one stone" until I finally said "It really only takes one, if it gets stuck, doesn't it?"

Heh. Gallstone artillery! The mental image is hilarious.
sarahj2222
Jun. 3rd, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
I think the surgery now is not as major..whatever that means.
I had mine out many years ago..If I were you I'd
try to calm it down and see if you can treat it
nutritionally.
Otherwise, as I say, the surgery is not so bad.
Keep the percoset nearby til you calm down then
see ..
You'll be good. I know, I was there and it's
easier now.
Love Selma
skinscript
Jun. 4th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC)
The surgery should be pretty simple, from what I understand, and minimally invasive.

Luckily I've been doing really well - pain free for a couple of days now! Woo!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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